Last year, L'entrecôte Corner Bistro celebrated its third anniversary by introducing new items on the menu--a mix of appetizers, mains, and desserts. Now on their fourth year of operations, the restaurant is one of the long-standing establishments in Burgos Circle, a testament to the quality of food and service they offer. To celebrate their fourth year anniversary this year, Chef Martin Kaspar has updated their menu to include a super-sized version of their popular steak and fries, flavorful foie gras, creamy risottos, and other new eats.
'You need to change,' says Chef Martin Kaspar, about keeping their restaurant relevant and fresh in Manila's burgeoning food scene. 'You know, have your old customers--they like the place, they like the food. Some of the items we have not changed, because people like those, while some you need to rethink about. And I must say, we are doing better.'
Honest food is also front and center at L'entrecôte. Chef Martin wants only quality ingredients for his customers, and is straightforward with his menu: whatever is written is what is served--the types of cheeses, the kinds of meat, etc.--to give the diners a food experience worth their time and money. "If we say there is Swiss cheese in that pastry, you will really see and taste it inside. That for me is important--honesty in what we serve," the chef shares.
Changing and revamping was what the Swiss chef did most especially for their appetizers this year, as he noticed that the latter part of the year has more guests come in for long, winding afternoons outside over small plates and wine. The chef has created more appetizers, 'More pica-pica but still more French style, when they go out to have some wine and the weather is cooler,' he adds.
Eager to sink your teeth into something new? Here are 9 new dishes created by Chef Martin at L'entrecôte for you to try.
1. Crispy Filo Rolls (P215)
This appetizer is three rolls of mushroom and goat cheese cream stuffed in filo pastry, drizzled with honey and balsamic. Each bite into the roll makes your teeth sink into a mix of soft and sweet, with just the right amount of tartness.
2. Pan Fried Foie Gras (P740)
This latest addition to the restaurant's duck liver specials is a plate of four pan fried duck liver atop thick slices of roasted potato . Adding a fruity, sweet-sour spin is the generous and coloful drizzle of Calamansi and Berry Duet bourbon, which the chef created by incorporating The Fruit Garden luxury jams.
3. Cheesy Triangles (P190)
A personal favorite, these crispy filo pastry treats are pop-in-your-mouth good, stuffed with an irresistable combination of spinach and Swiss cream cheese. If you're headed to L'entrecôte for a light afternoon of small plates and glasses of wine, order this and Crispy Filo Rolls for their delicious textures and cheese-loaded goodness.
4. Salmon Tartar (P240)
A simple, classic, and clean appetizer to top on pieces of melba toast. I am a fan of raw salmon, so the restaurant's take on the tartare bodes well with my tastebuds. The salmon tartare is served with refreshing green herb sauce. This makes a good partner for your sparkling wine.
5. Lamb Merguez Sausages (P545)
After a round of appetizers, we move on to heavier-hitting orders. There are three new dishes on their Risotto Specials menu, first of which is a creamed blue cheese risotto with spinach, served with two grilled spicy sausages. To complement the rice and lamb sausage, a dollop of sweet and spicy tomato chutney is placed on the plate.
6. Grilled Marinated Salmon (P490)
Next on the new risotto offerings is a personal favorite: a lipsmacking lemon flavored risotto, holding together chorizo, sherry tomato, and lettuce. I could consume just the risotto alone as it was that flavorful, the salmon becoming a delicious bonus to this dish, grilled to perfection, with herb aioli as dipping sauce.
7. Ticino Risotto (P385)
For a meatless risotto option, nothing beats a simple mushroom risotto with its blend of creamy and earthy notes. For L'entrecôte's version of a classic, mushroom is combined with cheese, and drizzled with just enough truffle oil to add that delicious fragance and lift the flavors. A gruyere chip is placed on the middle as a crispy centerpiece. More cheese is always welcome.
8. L'entrecôte "Double" (P2,180)
I've already waxed poetic about this restaurant's lovely, lovely steak-frites, The L'entrecôte (P1,190), a handsome 7 ounce US choice sirloin steak, wonderfully smothered by their signature Secret Herb Butter Sauce so sinful and luscious, with aroma so mouthwatering, it makes my knees go weak. It comes with unlimited fresh fries and a mixed green salad tossed with in-house dressing and walnuts.
The 'regular' L'entrecote
Now, the good folks at L'entrecôte have seen how diners fall madly in love with this ultimate best-seller of theirs through the years. The Swiss chef shares to me he has loyal patrons who have their 'permanent' spot in the corner bistro--same seat, same table, and same order of steak, per customer. This is why Chef Martin has decided to offer a supersized, leveled-up version of it in the L'entrecôte "Double," best shared by two people.
The meat presented is an upgrade, 12 ounces of certified angus sirloin steak, embraced by the same succulent Secret Herb Butter Sauce--I tried prying the ingredients from Chef Martin over our lunch, but he stopped himself after mentioning "butter, herbs, and garlic." The double also has unlimited fresh fries, and mixed green salad tossed with in-house dressing and walnuts. Buttery green sauce, a huge hunk of medium-rare beef, crispy potato batons--it will never disappoint. 'This sauce is incredible, it goes with anything,' I mention to the chef, half complaining and half whimpering. And to prove my point, I greedily spear a leftover filo roll with my fork, and swirled it around the sauce, then devour. Goodness, so good.
The Secret Herb Butter Sauce is so beloved by many that the restaurant offers it as an appetizer served with fries (Fries and the Secret Herb Butter, P270), and as another entree to accompany a grilled chicken breast (Chicke-Ria, P440). See? It goes well with anything.
9. Coup de Noix
Please, do leave some room for dessert, as L'entrecôte has a handful, most notable of which is a chocolate lava cake served a la mode (Moulleux Au Chocolat). But for something new and festive, have this flavorful cup of dessert: the Coup de Noix, which at the time of our visit, is still yet to be finalized in terms of pricing and name. Served in a martini glass, it is a warm chunk of homemade food for the gods served with amaretto cream, vanilla ice cream, and nuts. Every spoonful was warm laced with cool, sweet, chewy, and nutty. This makes for a great meal-ender for someone wanting the flavors of Christmas in their dessert.
Visit L'entrecôte at Forbes Town Center, Unit A Bellagio 2 Burgios Circle,
BGC, Taguig. Like L'entrecôte on Facebook (/lentrecotemnl), follow on Twitter (@lentrecote_mnl), and visit their website (www.lentrecotemanila.com) for more information.